The House Republicans recently unveiled their immigration reform principles. Their plans would require tighter border security and more immigration enforcement. Their plans would allow the undocumented immigrants to legally work and live in the U.S. if they admit their guilt and register with the government. They also must pass background checks and pay fines and taxes. Apart from that, they must learn English and Civics and establish that they can support themselves.
However, their principles do not make it clear whether the undocumented immigrants would be able to apply for permanent resident status (green card status) or for U.S. citizenship. Their principles say that the DREAMers who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents will not be punished. Such young immigrants would be permitted to apply for citizenship, if they meet the requirements.
House Speaker John Boehner stated that the Republican party would address the issue in a step-by-step fashion and would start with securing the country’s borders. Boehner does not want to pass a comprehensive bill and he is against the path to citizenship that the Senate bill includes. But the GOP principles would put certain undocumented immigrants who meet few requirements, on a path to citizenship.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan told that the undocumented immigrants would first be permitted to apply for probationary status. After the government strengthens border security, the immigrants in probationary status would be permitted to apply for legal work permits. They need to get at the back of the line to get green cards just like the other immigrants. He stated that the immigrants in probationary status who are sponsored by U.S. citizens or U.S. employers alone would be permitted to apply for citizenship.
A Congressional Budget Office’s report shows that under the Senate bill 8 million undocumented immigrants would become eligible for green cards and for U.S. citizenship. But the principles of the House would permit only 4.4 million to 6.5 million undocumented immigrants become U.S. citizens.